Tips for staying safe in the sun
Helping you & your children to enjoy the sun safely
It’s great to get outside and spend time in the sun. But it’s important to make sure that you take care to look after your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. Take a look at our tips and advice on how you and your children can enjoy the sun safely.
How to apply sun cream
We all know that it’s essential to wear sunscreen in order to protect our skin from the sun, but we’re often not applying it in the right way to provide us with adequate protection. One of the biggest mistakes many people make is not applying enough sun cream. You should use about two tablespoons of sun cream to cover your body (while wearing a swim suit) and rub it in evenly. You should always apply sun cream immediately after swimming, towelling off or if you’ve been sweating a lot.
There are a number of ‘once a day’ sun creams available that claim to offer up to eight hours of protection in a single application. Be mindful that for these single-application creams to work effectively, they need to be applied correctly (thoroughly and all over) and reapplied after they’ve been exposed to water.
Top tip: Make sure your sun cream is not out of date. Most creams have a shelf life of two to three years, if kept out of sunlight or high temperatures.
How to apply sun cream to children
We know that getting kids to apply sun cream is no mean feat! They often need some persuasion and plenty of reminders, but it’s essential that their skin is protected.
The most important thing is to make sure you apply plenty of sun cream. The amount you use depends on the height and weight of your child, but if you’re unsure, just use the same amount you would for an adult – after all, it’s far better to apply too much rather than too little. Make sure you cover their whole body: not just the arms and legs but in between fingers and toes, the backs of their knees, behind the ears – everywhere! Be extra careful to apply plenty to their neck and shoulders, as these are common sunburn areas.
Top tip: Don’t wait until you get to the pool or the beach to apply sunscreen. Do so 30 minutes before you go out, so that you can be sure to cover all areas and give it time to dry.
How to help stay safe in the sun
In addition to using sun cream, these tips will help you to avoid burning or other damage:
• Cover your skin – loose-fitting cotton clothes work best for protecting your skin. Where possible, cover up as much as possible when the sun’s rays are strong
• Wear sunglasses – sunglasses help to protect your eyes from UV rays. It’s a good idea to choose ones that are a wraparound style
• Stay hydrated – it’s important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to help avoid dehydration
How to help keep kids safe in the sun
Many children enjoy playing outdoors when it’s sunny, but it can be easy for their skin to burn if not protected in the right way. These tips can help to minimise the risk:
• Play in the shade – particularly between the hours of 11am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, it’s a good idea to make use of the shade under trees or canopies
• Keep babies out of direct sunlight – their skin is too thin and sensitive before the age of six months to be exposed to direct sunlight, so keep them in the shade
• Get them to wear a hat – a floppy hat is best as it will protect their face and neck
• Cover up – just as with adults, one of the best ways to protect children’s skin is to cover up with loose-fitting clothing
• Keep them hydrated – ensure that babies and children drink a lot of water to avoid becoming dehydrated